TL;DR – Too Long Didn’t Read
- Plastic producing companies delude consumers with the virtues of recycling, in order to sell more of the virgin plastic they manufacture from oil and gas.
- Recycling plastic is not environmentally friendly.
- There are alternatives to plastics and researchers have discovered super enzymes that can break down plastic.
Big companies deceiving consumers
An investigation conducted by US journalists for NPR(National Public Radio) helped accumulate evidence from industry sources and various documents, that plastic producers have been promoting the virtues of recycling, in order to get consumers to continue using virgin plastics they manufacture. This will keep them in business; help them profit and continue to do nothing about the negative environmental impact from producing plastics.
Larry Thomas, former president of the Society of the Plastics Industry mentioned, "If the public thinks that recycling is working, then they are not going to be as concerned about the environment".
Recycling is a no no
Unfortunately, recycling is an energy intensive process, which can be environmentally damaging. It’s also confusing and not worth the effort, as there are dozens of types of plastics to sort through.
There are 7 main types of plastics, of which 5 are hardly recycled because they contain pollutants and cancer causing substances. This makes the whole recycling process too expensive and complicated, and the resulting product is structurally far weaker than virgin plastic.
The risks outweigh the reward. As a result, more than 90% of plastics are never recycled in the US.
It’s not all doom and gloom
New enzymes on the horizon. British and American researchers derived two super-enzymes which break down plastic at a much faster rate, from a bacterium which was discovered in Japan in 2016.
In 2018, the team found success when they used one of the enzymes to break down plastic. They noticed when combining with the other super enzyme, the degradation process of plastic worked six times as fast. Still in the early stages to be considered to be used in a commercial setting, but it is promising and has the potential catalyse the process of recycling.
Another team of researchers from Toulouse Institute of Sciences and Carbios, a French bio-industrial company also found success when they were able to break down PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) in 10 hours. This process is highly efficient to infinitely recycle PET. The team’s success has advanced forward to “pilot industrial state”
What to do right now
We encourage you to use products that are highly reusable and don’t have much plastic in them.
You will notice that your plastic usage and dependency will decrease in the long run.
We have a few good eco friendly and reusable products, check them out to help ignite your path to an environmentally lifestyle.